NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Continuing its support of the next generation of Team USA, Citi today announced a $500,000 donation to the United States Olympic Committee to launch the Every Step of the Way® program for the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Launched in 2012, Every Step of the Way benefits U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes of all ages in communities across America. Following the program’s success in 2012, Citi is passing the torch to a new team of Citi athletes and extending the program through 2014, donating a total of $1 million to the U.S. Olympic Committee since 2012.
“Citi is proud to support Team USA through 2016 while providing much needed support for the future success of the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls,” said Citi CEO Michael Corbat. “Giving every American the chance to support the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams is a great way to share the Olympic spirit with clients, fans and communities across the country.”
“We are thrilled that Citi is continuing its Every Step of the Way program through the Sochi 2014 Games,” said Lisa Baird, USOC chief marketing officer. “Citi’s program creates a lasting impact by enabling the next generation of U.S. hopefuls and athletes to thrive, and giving fans a meaningful way to connect with Team USA.”
A sponsor of Team USA and the USOC through 2016, Citi developed Every Step of the Way in 2012 to help fund U.S. Olympic, Paralympic and community programs that inspired Team Citi athletes. In 2012, Citi provided funding to after-school and recreational sport programs giving athletes equipment and access to tennis and soccer camps, track & field training, gymnastics competitions and life-saving swimming lessons.
In 2014, Citi’s $500,000 donation to the USOC will be allocated to sport programs chosen by Citi’s nine U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and ambassadors and will support a range of programs, including access to winter sports for inner-city youth and funding for Paralympic hopefuls.
Participate with just one click
Participating in the Every Step of the Way program is easy. Just by visiting www.citi.com/everystep, customers and Team USA fans help allocate a portion of Citi’s donation. At the site, they can learn about each of the Team Citi athletes and their respective sport program, choose a Team Citi athlete to support, and with a single click, a portion of Citi’s donation will be awarded. The funds will fulfill specific needs of each sport program, giving them the resources they need to help the next generation of athletes on their journey from ambition to achievement.
Citi Thank You members can also redeem their own ThankYou Points to donate to Team Citi-supported U.S. Olympic, Paralympic and community sport programs by visiting thankyou.com.
“It is an honor to be a member of Team Citi,” said U.S. Olympic gold medalist and Team Citi member Ted Ligety. “I, along with my fellow Team Citi athletes, know the importance of being supported along our Olympic and Paralympic journey, and through the Every Step of the Way program, we can give back and help the next generation of athletes. Even better, fans are able to help direct the funds to leave a lasting impact on our sport programs.”
TEAM CITI SPORT PROGRAMS
The nine Team Citi athletes represent a wide range of sports including: alpine skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, luge, Nordic combined, speed-skating, Paralympic alpine skiing and sled hockey. They were selected by Citi because they embody the spirit and mission of the Every Step of the Way program and are dedicated to inspiring the next generation of athletes.
Team Citi’s U.S. Olympic, Paralympic and community sport programs include:
Julie Chu, Three-time U.S. Olympian, silver (2002, 2010) and bronze (2006) medalist; ice hockey
- Chu is supporting the USA Hockey Foundation and its “Try Hockey for Free” initiative to provide over 500 sets of starter equipment to the program, which aims to bring more girls between the ages of 4-9 into youth hockey.
Billy Demong, Four-time U.S. Olympian, 2010 gold medalist, Large Hill Individual Gunderson and silver medalist NC team; Nordic combined
- Demong is an athlete ambassador for the USOC’s Team for Tomorrow program, which connects U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes with local youth sport and community organizations to share inspirational stories and discuss the importance of living an active and healthy lifestyle. The program will also assist community organizations through the donation of sporting equipment.
Erin Hamlin, Two-time U.S. Olympian; luge
- The USA Slider Search program is a national recruitment tour to help identify and instruct young luge athletes. Hamlin was introduced to the sport of luge at age 12 through the program, and wants to expand the tour into winter and non-winter sports markets to provide more opportunities for girls and boys age 9-13 to experience sliding.
Ted Ligety, Two-time U.S. Olympian, 2006 gold medalist (combined); alpine skiing
- Ligety is supporting Youth Enrichment Services (YES) to expand the reach of Operation SnowSports, its longest running program that provides urban youth (ages 7-18) with the opportunity to develop self-confidence while learning to ski and snowboard during the winter months throughout New England.
Evan Lysacek, Two-time U.S. Olympian, 2010 gold medalist; men’s figure skating
- Since 2006, Lysacek has worked with Figure Skating in Harlem (FSH), a program that empowers young women in underserved New York City communities by combining the power of education with the discipline of figure skating. FSH is on a 3-year path to double in size from 200 to 400 students by creating a new extension program that will provide academic, health and wellness opportunities to girls ages 6-18.
Dan Jansen, Four-time U.S. Olympian, 1994 gold medalist 1000m; speed-skating
- Knowing how difficult it can be to overcome personal hardship, Jansen has partnered with the Olympians for Olympians Relief Fund (OORF) to provide personal and financial support and assistance to Olympians recovering from accident, illness and injury.
Picabo Street, Three-time U.S. Olympian, gold (1998, super-G) and silver (1994, downhill) medalist; alpine skiing
- Having overcome multiple injuries in her career, Street has teamed up with the USOC Stay on the Slopes Initiative to provide injury prevention technology to keep athletes injury free on and off the slopes.
Alana Nichols, Three-time U.S. Paralympian (summer and winter), gold (2010, downhill sitting & giant slalom sitting; 2008, wheelchair basketball), silver (2010, super-G sitting) and bronze (2010, super combined sitting) medalist; Paralympic alpine skiing
- Nichols is supporting the Paralympic Champions Fund, which raises funds for athletes pursuing the dream of participating in the Paralympic Games. It also aims to increase the availability of physical activity opportunities for physically disabled individuals.
Rico Roman, U.S. Paralympic hopeful; sled hockey
- Operation Comfort provides rehabilitative therapeutic programs such as sled hockey, hand cycling, and amputee surfing for wounded service members while they are recovering. Roman was introduced to the sport of sled hockey by Operation Comfort and the funding will support one full season of competition expenses for his team - the San Antonio Rampage Sled Hockey Team – which is comprised completely of military veterans.
The Citi Every Step of the Way website will include photo and video content to connect fans to Team Citi athletes and offer an authentic look into their personal journeys from ambition to achievement. For updates on Citi’s Every Step of the Way program, follow Citi on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CitiEveryStep and Twitter @CitiEveryStep. The Every Step of the Way program will include television and digital advertising, events and promotional opportunities. Television advertisements will debut in mid-January featuring members of Team Citi, and in-market events will be held in retail branches across the U.S. with Team Citi athletes.
To mark its 200th anniversary, Citi was an official sponsor of Team USA in 2012 for the first time in the company’s history. Earlier this year Citi and the U.S. Olympic Committee announced that Citi will be an official partner of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams through 2016.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
*Citi's USOC partnership and media rights include U.S. corporate and investment banking, retail banking and commercial banking.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @CitiEveryStep | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://citi.com/blog | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi
About the USOC
Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., the U.S. Olympic Committee serves as both the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States. As such, the USOC is responsible for the training, entering and funding of U.S. teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, while serving as a steward of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements throughout the country. For more information, visit TeamUSA.org.